The Catholic Church’s social action network has added its voice to the opposition against the massive copper-gold project in South Cotabato province’s Tampakan town.
Speaking on behalf of the network, Caritas Philippines national director Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo backed the anti-mining campaign of Marbel diocese, through its social action center.
Bagaforo said they “firmly believe that local actions matter greatly in the fight against climate emergency and planetary crisis”.
“We encourage and join the people of South Cotabato in demanding for public accountability and in carrying out regular scrutiny of government transactions related in particular to environment actions,” Bagaforo said in a statement.
The statement was released Saturday after the 40th National Social Action General Assembly (NASAGA) held in General Santos City.
More than 240 delegates from at least 71 dioceses attended the four-day assembly.
South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. earlier vetoed a local council resolution lifting the ban on open-pit mining in the province.
The veto came after thousands of people took the streets to show their opposition against mining.
The NASAGA participants urged the province’s officials “to work more tediously to guard the ecological sanctity of Tampakan and respect the will of the people”.
They also hope that with such collective voice and action, “the national government will heed the call of its people to make the moratorium against mining in the country a national institutional policy and make all parties involved in irresponsible and unlawful mining operations face justice.”